By MARK LORENZANA
According to Mexico’s Tax Administrative Service (SAT), it only takes an average of 14.7 days for taxpayers to get their refunds, but some taxpayers have complained that they had to wait for more than 69 days.
In an interview with Mexican daily newspaper Reforma on Monday, July 18, Rafael, a taxpayer, said that he had already been waiting 74 days but has yet to get his 11,000-peso refund from the SAT because the Treasury found some inconsistencies with his tax statement. The inconsistency is not a mistake on his part, he said, but his employer’s, and he believes that the SAT should not put the burden on him and other employees.
“It is the employer who must make the adjustment, and the SAT must force them to fix any inconsistencies. The SAT should not put the burden on the employees,” Rafael said.
Because the 40 days established by law for tax refunds have already lapsed, Rafael’s accountant advised him to go to the Taxpayer Defense Attorney’s Office (Prodecon) for help.
Reynaldo, a university professor and another complainant, said he already received his tax refund of 56,000 pesos, but he had to wait for 56 days and also had to file a complaint with Prodecon.
Elizabeth, an employee of a multinational company, also had a difficult time with the SAT. She was expecting a refund of 66,000 pesos, but the SAT informed her that they needed to double-check as there were inconsistencies with her tax statement. She said the SAT requested “excessive” requirements from her before she finally got her refund — after 60 days. Elizabeth said that she first got 16,000 pesos, and had to wait to get the rest of her money.
“I think this is bordering on abuse,” Elizabeth said. “It feels like, as a taxpayer, I’m being held hostage. That tax refund is my own personal money.”
Miguel Ángeles Tavares, president of the Fiscal Technical Commission of the Association of Public Accountants of Mexico (CCPM), said that taxpayers should go to Prodecon in the case of delayed tax refunds, and even when the SAT asks for seemingly excessive requirements to process those refunds.
Tavares said that this problem with the SAT is not new, and has happened in previous administrations.